1. The petitioner is a Landlord. The respondent is his tenant. The petitioner filed a petition for the eviction of the respondent before the Rent Controller, Nirmal, under Section 10 of the Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent, and Eviction) Control Act. hereinafter called the Act. on the ground that he bona fide needs the premises for his personal occupation as well as for starting a business. It is not disputed that it is a non-residential building and it was let out to the respondent where he is doing some business. The respondent resisted the petition by contending that the petitioner was not the Landlord, his claim was not bona fide and since the premises was non-residential he cannot claim it partly for residential and partly for non-residential purposes. The Rent Controller allowed the petition holding that the petitioner was the Landlord, he bona fide needs the premises for starting the business as well as for his personal occupation and there was no prohibition in the Act for a Landlord from claiming the non-residential premises both for his non-residential as well as residential purposes. He, therefore, ordered the eviction of the respondent. Against his order the respondent preferred an appeal before the District Judge, Adilabad. The learned Judge allowed the appeal holding that under Sub-section 3 of Section 10 of the Act, the Landlord could claim the occupation of a non-residential building if it is only for his non-residential purpose. He further held that the petitioner had no previous experience and he did not obtain any licence to start a business. He upheld the finding of the Rent Controller that the petitioner was the owner of the premises. Nevertheless, in view of his other findings, he dismissed the petition for eviction; questioning his order the petitioner has filed this revision.
2. In this revision it is submitted by Sri Narasimha Reddy, the learned counsel for the petitioner, that there is no prohibition in the Act for a Landlord claiming occupation of his non-residential building both for his residential and non-residential purposes. I agree with him. Sub-section 2 of Section 10 of the Act, to the extent it is relevant, defines 'a building' as meaning any house or part of a house let separately for residential or non-residential purposes. Sub-section 3 of Section 10 deals with non-residential building. Under Sub-section 3 of Section 10 of the Act a Landlord can apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the Landlord in possession of a non-residential building if the Landlord is not occupying a non-residential building in the city, town or village concerned which is his own or to the possession of which he is entitled, whether under the Act or otherwise, (a) for the purpose of a business which he is carrying on, on the date of the application, or (b) for the purpose of a business which in the opinion of the Controller, the Landlord bona fide proposes to commence. Clause (c), Sub-section 3 of Section 10 says that a Landlord who is occupying only a part of a building whether residential or non-residential, may apply to the Controller, for an order directing any tenant occupying the whole or any portion of the remaining part of the building to put the Landlord in possession thereof, if he requires additional accommodation for residential purposes or for the purpose of a business which he is carrying on, as the case may be.
3. These provisions do not show that the Landlord cannot seek possession of a non-residential building both for his residential occupation as well as for starting a business. I do not find any such prohibition in the Act. The learned counsel for the respondent is not able to place before me any decision taking a contrary view. Therefore, I do not agree with the finding of the District Judge that a Landlord cannot recover a non-residential building partly for his residence and partly for his business.
4. The next question for my consideration is whether the petitioner has proved that he bona fide proposes to commence a business in the premises in question. It is not disputed that he is a businessman. He is an young man aged about 35 years and he is a B.Com., Graduate. He is already running a medical shop at Nirmal for some years. He wants to start a new business in foodgrains in the suit premises. The Rent Controller held that his request was bona fide and it was not made with any oblique motive. On the other hand, the learned District Judge held that the petitioner had no previous experience in foodgrains business and he did not apply for a licence and, therefore, his request is not bona fide. I am not able to agree with him, if his reasoning is to be accepted, no owner of a non-residential building if he has no previous experience could claim its possession for starting a new business. The question of applying to a Municipality for a licence does not arise unless he gets possession of the premises. He cannot also apply for a licence under the Andhra Pradesh Foodgrains Dealers Licensing Order for he must apply for it only with reference to the premises where he intends to start his business. Therefore, the reasoning of the learned District Judge is misconceived. He has not given any valid reasons for differing with the Rent Controller in this regard.
5. In this connection, I may also refer to Mattulal v. Radhe Lal : 1SCR127 , where the Supreme Court has observed.
'The respondent, however, contended that the finding of the Additional District Judge that the respondent did not bona fide require the Lohia Bazar Shop for the purpose of starting new business as a dealer in Iron and Steel materials was vitiated, firstly because he erroneously assumed that unless the respondent showed that he had made preparations for starting his new business, such as making arrangements for capital investment, approaching Iron and Steel Controller for the required permits etc., it could not be said that the respondent bona fide required the Lohia Bazar shop for such new business, and secondly because he relied wrongly and unjustifiably on the fact that the respondent had asked for possession of the whole of the Lohia Bazar shop and not merely a portion of it. Now there can be no doubt that these two circumstances relied upon by the Additional District Judge were wholly irrelevant. It is difficult to imagine how the respondent could be expected to make preparations for starting the new business unless there was a reasonable prospect of his being able to obtain possession of the Lohia Bazar shop in the near future. It is a common but unfortunate failing of our Judicial system that a litigation takes an inordinately long time in reaching a final conclusion and then also it is uncertain as to how it will end and with what result and unless the respondent could be reasonably sure that he would within a short time be able to obtain possession of the Lohia Bazar shop and start a new business, it would be foolish on his part to make arrangements for investment of capital, obtaining of permits and receipt of stocks of Iron and Steel materials when he would not know whether he would at all be able to get possession of the Lohia Bazar shop, and if so, when and after how many years. So also we do not see how the respondent could possibly ask for possession of a portion of the Lohia Bazar Shop.'
Following that decision and on the facts of this case, I disagree with the learned District Judge and I agree with the Rent Controller that the petitioner needs the premises bonafide for starting a new business.
6. The learned counsel for the Respondent has relied upon S. Mohanlal v. R. Kondaiah, : AIR1970AP384 . The facts of that case are clearly distinguishable. There the Rent Controller ordered eviction from a portion of the premises and thereby split tenancy. The learned Judges held that the splitting of the tenancy was not permitted under the Act.
7. In the result I allow this revision by setting aside the order of the District Judge and by restoring the order of the Rent Controller. Two months time is given to the respondent from today to vacate the premises. In the circumstances of the case, I direct each party to bear his costs.
8. Revision allowed.